A huge thank you to Steve for the GREAT TIPS!!
Some of my favourite tech tips:
* Save magnets, especially rare earth magnets (as seen in hard drives, once they're ripped open).
* Chain cleaner can be recycled many times before it starts losing its cleansing power. Take two plastic containers (I use icecream tubs), one is the "clean" tub and one is the "dirty" tub. Put a magnet in the bottom of both (see, they're turning out handy already!). Pour used chain cleaner into the dirty tub. Once the dirty tub is full, take a couple of containers like coffee tins or mayonnaise jars, use elastic bands to hold coffee filters on top, then strain the dirty chain cleaner through. Empty the containers into the clean tub, and you have chain cleaner ready to be used again. The magnets will pick up most of the dirt, fish them out every now and then and wipe them off.
* If your chain cleaning device doesn't have a magnet, affix a magnet to the bottom. It's amazing how much extra dirt will get pulled off.
* My chains get really dirty in winter (even though I clean them daily), so to make them last longer I get a spare chain and a sheet of KMC masterlinks (I don't like the SRAM ones - the KMC's are disposable, but at least they're easy to get off, even if it is with a chain tool). After I've cleaned the chain with the chain cleaner at the end of the week, I break the chain and put it in a coffee tin (yes, I drink quite a lot of coffee). Next, I spray the chain heavily with WD40, put the lid on the tin, and leave it for a few minutes. Drain off the amazingly dirty WD40, then fill the can with hot water - though not boiling. Let the chain soak in there for a few minutes to lift up the WD40 to the surface, then drain it off. Put the chain in another can, give it a light spray of WD40 (otherwise the surface of the chain may lift off and attach to the coffee tin, if it's metal) and put it to one side until next week.
* At the start of winter season, give the bike a good cleanup, and when it's dry, I use car wax to polish it up. This will have the same effect as WD40/Pam, but will last pretty much all season. Yes, it's messy, but it's a once a year thing.
* Chain cleaner does a great job of cleaning off rims and rim brakes. This is especially important in winter - if I don't clean off the rims and brake pads nightly I can feel the salt and dirt grinding off a layer of the rims the next morning! I also take the pads off once a week and use a sharp knife to pick out the bits of metal that invariably accumulate in there - I don't know if they're coming up off the road, or off the rim, but I always have at least one chunk in there...
* Save inner tubes that can't be repaired (blown valve core, completely shredded, whatever). The rubber can be cut up and used for shims (eg, for lights), covering chain stays to prevent chain slap, emergency bungee cords, rubber bands with non-standard width... The list goes on. The rubber also has the weird property that after it's been rinsed off and exposed to air for a while, it'll stick to itself - not quite self-adhesive, but sticky enough to give a really good grip.
* Try Continental brand inner tubes. They have a nut that screws onto the valve, so when you're pumping up the tube the valve doesn't try and pop under the rim. They also seem to hold air better than generic Chen Shin tubes. They're about $1.50 more than generic tubes at MEC.